Obituary: Charles Allen Lemaster
Caldwell and Cowan Funeral Home
Charles Allen "Charlie" Lemaster, of Covington, passed away Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at the age of 31.
He was an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan and enjoyed playing softball, watching his son play baseball, riding his four wheeler, but most of all, he loved spending time with this children. Charlie served his country in the U.S. Army for five years in the 1st Cav. 6-9 and was currently employed by Pratt Industries in Conyers.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Velma Terry, and paternal grandfather, Paris Lemaster.
Survivors include his wife, Melissa Lemaster; daughter, Dani Lemaster; son, TJ Lemaster all of Covington; parents, Charles and Patricia Lemaster; sister, Samantha Lemaster; brother, Troy Lemaster all of Riverside, OH; paternal grandmother, Ramona Edwards of Bellbrook, OH; 2 nephews, several aunts, uncles and cousins; special friends, SSgt. Nicholas Bellard and Sgt. Glenn Sewell.
Funeral services for Lemaster will be held Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 11 a.m., at the Chapel of Caldwell and Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access Road, Covington. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Tuesday, December 10, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family to assist with the care of his young children.
UPDATE: Funeral services for Charles Lemaster will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m., at the Chapel of Caldwell and Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access Road, Covington. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family to assist with the care of his young children.
(Dec. 5, 3:39 p.m.) A Covington man and employee at Pratt Industries died Wednesday evening after getting caught in a conveyer belt at the company's bio-energy plant.
Charles Alan Lemaster, 31, reportedly appeared to have been clearing debris below a feeder belt that carried wood chips into the gassifier when his left hand and arm got caught and he was pulled into the belt structure. When co-workers found Lemaster around 6:30 p.m. and called first responders, he was reportedly already unresponsive. He reportedly had extensive injuries and may have passed out and suffocated in the wood chips. He was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to Rockdale Deputy Coroner Mike Siebert.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) inspectors are on the scene conducting an investigation. The energy plant has been shut down until the investigation is complete and power for Pratt's operations is being supplied by an auxiliary boiler.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to the family," said a Pratt spokesman. "This is a very sad day for all of our employees." He declined further comment pending the OSHA investigation
Lemaster had started working as a regular employee at the Pratt Conyers plant in November but had worked as a temp employee before t hat.
He was a military veteran, husband and father of two young children.
The Medical Examiner from DeKalb County, where Rockdale County contracts medical examiner services, was conducting an autopsy as of Thursday and toxicology tests. The Rockdale Coroners' Office is also helping the investigation. Toxicology tests can take six to eight weeks to come back, said Siebert.
Conyers police determined the incident to be an accident and turned over their findings to OSHA inspectors and the medical examiner, said CPD spokesperson Crime Analyst Kim Lucas.
According to an OSHA spokesperson, OSHA investigators are allowed to take up to six months to issue a final report and no comments are made on the case until the final report.
A planned OSHA inspection of the Conyers plant in May 2013 found no violations. The plant is under a National Emphasis Program on Amputations, which targets "workplaces with machinery and equipment that cause (or are capable of causing) amputations," according to OSHA's website.
In 2011, the Target Container, Inc. box plant in Atlanta owned by Pratt received three citations, including one for "general machine guarding hazards rotating chuck on drill press."
In 2008, Pratt's East Point recycling plant was cited by OSHA for a violation of "Point of operation guarding on machinery or equipment" and "confined space danger signs" regulations.
Ptratt, the US branch of the Australian-based Visy Industries, employs about 400 people at its 114 acre Conyers campus off Sigman Road, first built in 1995. The campus recently was expanded with a 9 megawatt gasification energy plant, which consumes biowaste and paper waste from the company's paper mill, corrugator and box making plants. A $8 to $10 million recycling facility and solid waste collection transfer point are also in the works, slated to finish 2015.